Last Friday for Culture Night, Translink extended their bus services from 11pm until midnight.
I have always been incredibly frustrated that even on weekends our services end at 11pm, leaving people dependent on taxis or walking to get home. Belfast is a relatively small city, but I have always been a firm believer that even on the main arterial routes there was a case for continuing the bus services onto midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
On Culture Night, I decided to avail myself of the midnight service going up the Antrim Road and it was standing room only. I heard similar stories on other routes going up East and South Belfast which also were packed full of people coming home. I appreciate that this was a major event and it would be folly to argue that it would be like this all the time, but as Belfast’s night economy gradually develops with more bars and other entertainment facilities around the city the case for an extension is compelling.
In a Twitter exchange with the Translink Chief Executive he told me that they would be trailing midnight services this December
Hi David, glad you liked it, we will be doing it again in Dec on fri&sat and will then review how best to take it forward
— Chris Conway (@CEOTranslink_NI) September 28, 2017
In the lead up to Christmas if you’re heading out for a meal or some drinks, take the bus and it could help improve our services in the long term.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs